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A look back at 5 famous Serie A imports by Rangers

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A look back at 5 famous Serie A imports to Ibrox

The Scottish Premiership has turned into somewhat of a one-horse race over the past eight years, with Celtic stamping their authority over arch-rivals Rangers and establishing themselves as the undisputed powerhouses on the domestic front. 

As for the Rangers fans, they should be happy that the club is finally on its way towards shrugging off the financial difficulties which had tarnished its glorious image and resulted in a demotion to the fourth tier of Scottish football eight years back. 

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To be honest, the fact that the Gers are yet to bag any major silverware since their return to the top-flight three years ago continues to be a bitter pill for all the club’s supporters to swallow.

That, however, might change next season or in the near future, with Rangers once again showing a lot of ambition to get back to winning ways under current manager Steven Gerrard.

Since his appointment in April 2018, Gerrard has taken significant strides towards helping Rangers revive their lost glory.

With the club’s financial condition still not back to its best, the Liverpool legend has been forced to use his acumen to strengthen his ranks, with some shrewd acquisitions in the transfers market.

The fans at Ibrox have every reason to hope that the Gers can transform the promise that they showed last season into something more meaningful next term and finally oust Celtic from the throne. 

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It’s easier said than done but Rangers have made a strong statement of intent with as many as eight new signings this summer, with Bologna’s Swedish international centre-back Filip Helander being the most expensive of the lot.

The £3.5million fee paid for Helander is nowhere close to the club-record amount that the Gers had shelled out to sign Norwegian striker Tore Andre Flo from Chelsea around the turn of the century but it is the highest that they have spent on a single player since returning to the top-flight following the liquidation.

With that in mind, let us take a look at 5 of the most famous Serie A imports to have graced Ibrox, and some of the inclusions in the list are bound to take the fans of the current generation by surprise.

1. Paul Gascoigne (Lazio)

A key component of the England sides that reached the semi-finals of the 1990 FIFA World Cup and the 1996 European Championship, Paul Gascoigne is widely acclaimed as a legendary figure in English football and his inclusion at the top of the list should hardly come as a surprise to the fans. 

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Gascoigne established himself as an influential playmaker in English football with Newcastle United and Spurs before moving to Serie A outfit Lazio in 1992 and after three fruitful seasons in Italy, the mercurial star joined Rangers in 1995.

Gascoigne netted 19 goals in 42 appearances in his debut season at Ibrox to help the Gers claim their eighth successive domestic title and replicated those numbers by scoring 17 in the following campaign as the Glasgow giants made it nine in a row over Celtic.

The playmaker sparked serious controversy for his infamous goal celebration of playing the flute in an Old Firm derby at Celtic Park in January 1998 and a tumultuous sequence of events saw him get sold to Middlesbrough in March.

Nevertheless, Gascoigne won four major honours during his time at Ibrox, including back-to-back league titles. 

2. Andrei Kanchelskis (Fiorentina)

The Russian winger won back-to-back Premier League titles, the FA Cup and the League Cup during his glorious years at Man United and followed it up with an impressive spell at Everton before moving on to join Fiorentina in 1997.

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Kanchelskis’ spell in the Italian top-flight proved to be an ill-fated one and he returned to Britain just after a single season, this time to Rangers in 1998.

The skilfull winger didn’t really manage to hit the same heights that had made him one of the most decorated players at Old Trafford earlier in his career but he still got the fans off their feet with moments of individual brilliance. 

The Russian was a key part of the side that completed a back-to-back league and Scottish Cup double in 1998-99 and 1999-00. He further went on to bag the Scottish League Cup and Scottish Cup double in the 2000-01 season before being shipped out on loan to Man City following a string of ordinary performances.

3. Gennaro Gattuso (Perugia)

Gattuso began his career with Italian side Perugia but he was transferred to Scottish giants Rangers in July 1997 at the age of 19, with Walter Smith being the man responsible for introducing the midfield maestro to Scottish football.

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The Italian played regularly for one season at Rangers but he lost his place in the team following the departure of Walter Smith, with new manager Dick Advocaat playing him in an unfamiliar right-back role.

Gattuso was eventually sold to Italian club Salernitana, where he impressed with his performances before earning a move to Milan. 

4. Lorenzo Amoruso (Fiorentina)

The Italian centre-back was one of the most decorated figures at Ibrox during the late 90s and the early 2000s and he probably deserves to be at the top of this list in terms of the number of trophies won at Ibrox. 

Amoruso played for Bari, Pescara and Fiorentina in his homeland before making his move to Rangers in 1997. However, his start to life at Ibrox wasn’t particularly smooth, as he missed large quarters of his debut season due to an Achilles Tendon injury. 

Despite that, however, Amoruso was appointed as the club captain by manager Dick Advocaat in the following campaign and he eventually found his way into the hearts of the fans with some stellar displays at the back, guiding the Gers to a domestic treble in the 1998-99 season. 

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The centre-back came under scrutiny at times for his tactical errors in the subsequent campaigns but he continued to be a key player for Rangers despite being stripped off the club’s captaincy.

Amoruso’s career at Ibrox had a happy ending though, as the Italian rediscovered his mojo under new manager Alex McLeish and played a key role in the Gers’ domestic treble-winning campaign in the 2002-03 season.

The centre-back netted the winner for Rangers in the 2003 Scottish Cup final against Dundee in what proved to be his final game for the club.

5. Marco Negri (Perugia)

Marco Negri arrived at Ibrox in 1997 as a bonafide goalscorer with a proven pedigree, having topped the scoring charts at Perugia in the Serie A in the 1996-97 campaign.

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The Italian soon became a popular figure at Rangers and plundered goals for fun in his debut season, although his tally of 33 league goals in the 1997-98 campaign wasn’t enough to propel Rangers to the domestic title.

Negri showed little exuberance while celebrating goals and became famous for his subdued and silent celebrations.

However, an eye injury he suffered while playing squash followed by several other recurrent injuries put an end to his short blitz at Ibrox.

Arsenal

[Image] Man United vs Arsenal: Star-studded combined XI featuring 4 Red Devils and 7 Gunners

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Man United vs Arsenal: Combined XI featuring 4 Red Devils and 7 Gunners

After a round of EFL Cup fixtures, Premier League action is set to return this weekend with plenty of thrills and spills and the high-octane clash between Man United and Arsenal on Monday night is undoubtedly going to be one of the main attractions of matchweek 7. 

Both the teams won their EFL Cup fixtures, with Arsenal handing Nottingham Forest a 5-0 drubbing and Man United somehow edging past a lowly Rochdale in the penalty shootout. 

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Arsenal are currently placed 4th in the Premier League standings after a 3-2 victory over Aston Villa last week and the fans will be expecting the Gunners to continue their winning run, while Man United will have their work cut out away from home after a 2-0 defeat at the hands of West Ham last week. 

Combined XI

Bernd Leno (GK)

The German has proven his worth between the sticks on numerous occasions with some fine saves this season and he certainly deserves the nod over de Gea, who has been a bit inconsistent. 

Aaron Wan-Bissaka (RB)

The youngster has proven himself to be an excellent addition to Man United’s backline and it is a no-brainer that he has fared way better than Maitland-Niles in that position.

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Harry Maguire (CB)

The England international has added a lot of steel to United’s backline following his big-money move from Leicester City earlier in the summer. One of the best centre-backs in the Premier League, he definitely deserves a place ahead of the error-prone David Luiz in the elite combined line-up. 

Sokratis (CB)

The Greek international has hardly been at his best but Victor Lindelof too, has been equally lacklustre and there isn’t really a lot to choose between them so far this term.

Kieran Tierney (LB)

The Scotsman made his first start for the Gunners since his move from Celtic back in August and the fans will be expecting him to play a big part on Monday if he starts.

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Matteo Guendouzi (CDM)

The Frenchman has arguably been Arsenal’s most influential presence in the middle of the park with his excellent all-round game, leapfrogging Fred, Matic, Xhaka and Torreira on the performance charts. 

Scott McTominay (CDM)

The youngster has really come of age for United this term and his combative and energetic displays in the middle of the park have caught the eye amidst a lot of mediocrity from his teammates, including star man Paul Pogba. 

Nicolas Pepe (RW)

The Ivorian is currently on high spirits after bagging his first goal for Arsenal against Aston Villa last week and though he hasn’t done anything spectacular yet, there is hardly a better player from either team in that role. 

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Daniel James (LW)

The former Swansea City starlet has taken the Premier League by storm this season and he will be United’s best bet to find the net on Monday. 

Dani Ceballos (CAM)

The Spaniard has shown a lot of promise in that No.10 role for the Gunners and he definitely deserves the nod ahead of big names like Juan Mata and Mesut Ozil.

To Read More Arsenal News, Click here:- Latest Arsenal News

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST)

The Gabonese international has become a nemesis for the defenders in the Premier League and with an impressive tally 6 goals in 6 league outings this season, Arsenal will look up to him to propel them to a victory over rivals United on Monday. 

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Arsenal

[Image] Predicted 4-2-3-1 Man United XI to face Arsenal – Can Maguire keep Aubameyang quiet?

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Predicted Man United XI to face Arsenal in the Premier League

Man United got themselves back to winning ways with a hard-fought penalty shootout victory over Rochdale in the EFL Cup but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are going to have their work cut out when they play host to Arsenal in the Premier League on Monday night.

The Red Devils came under scrutiny after their disappointing 2-0 defeat at the hands of West Ham away from home last week and they will be desperate to come away with a positive result against the Gunners on Monday having won only 2 of their first 6 games in the Premier League so far. 

Unai Emery’s side will head into the game high on confidence after having the final say in the 3-2 thriller against Aston Villa followed by a 5-0 demolition of Nottingham Forest in the EFL Cup. 

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Team News

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has plenty of injuries to contend with for Monday’s high-octane clash. Eric Bailly and Timothy Fosu-Mensah are ruled out with long-term knee injuries but a number of key first-team players are also doubtful to play a part against the Gunners.

Marcus Rashford (groin), Anthony Martial (thigh) and Luke Shaw (thigh) are yet to recover fully from their respective injuries and their availability will be subject to a late fitness test. 

Solskjaer is expected to make multiple changes to the eleven that played against Rochdale on Wednesday night. 

Predicted XI

Formation: 4-2-3-1

David de Gea (GK)

The Spaniard has shown signs of returning to his best after signing a new deal with the club and he is expected to replace Sergio Romero on Monday. 

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Aaron Wan-Bissaka (RB)

The former Crystal Palace man has been one of the Red Devils’ shining lights in what has otherwise been a rather disappointing start to the season. 

Victor Lindelof (CB)

The Swedish international has blown hot and cold at the heart of the defence this season and United will need him to put in a better performance against a potent Arsenal attack.

Harry Maguire (CB)

The Englishman is an undisputed starter for United every week and he has to be at his best to keep the free-scoring Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at bay. 

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Ashley Young (LB)

Luke Shaw is unlikely to make it back to the starting eleven on Monday, meaning that the veteran could get yet another start. 

Scott McTominay (CDM)

The youngster has put in a number of impressive performances at the heart of the midfield this season and Solskjaer should continue to rely on him. 

Paul Pogba (CDM)

His return to fitness before the crunch game against the Gunners is definitely a massive boost for United and the Red Devils will bank on him to come up with something spectacular on Monday. 

Andreas Pereira (RW)

The Brazilian hasn’t done an awful lot but he is likely to find himself amongst the starters once again if Martial and Rashford do not make it back in time. 

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Juan Mata (CAM)

The Spaniard has hardly been at his sparkling best but Jesse Lingard, too, has been a big disappointment and Solskajer might just go with experience in a high-octane clash. 

Daniel James (LW)

The jet-heeled Welsh starlet has arguably been United’s best performer in the Premier League thus far and it will be interesting to see how he goes about things against Arsenal. 

To Read More Man United News, Click Here:- Latest Man United News

Mason Greenwood (ST)

The academy graduate has scored in the Europa League and the EFL Cup in the past week or so and injuries to Rashford and Martial might just open the door for him to get a start in the Premier League.

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Dragon Feeds

No Eriksen, no problem – 3 top-class replacements who Tottenham can consider including these Serie A stars

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3 ideal replacements for Christian Eriksen at Tottenham next summer

Tottenham came out of their miserly habits to spend big this summer but the Lilywhites still have plenty of issues to sort out after an indifferent start to the Premier League campaign. 

The North Londoners grabbed the headlines with big-money deals for Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon earlier in the summer but if the first seven games are anything to go by, Spurs still have plenty of gaps to plug if they are to push on under the stewardship of Mauricio Pochettino and ultimately challenge for the Premier League crown.

Indeed, the arrival of Lo Celso and club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele has strengthened Spurs’ cavalry in the middle of the park but Pochettino is likely to have a few more targets high on his wishlist for the upcoming transfer windows. 

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While a replacement for Kieran Tripper continues to be a nagging issue, the transfer saga involving influential playmaker Christian Eriksen has turned into a big distraction for the club, with the Dane stalling over signing a new deal. 

Eriksen, who is out of contract next summer, continues to be a game-changer for Spurs but the Lilywhites might as well start preparing for life without him next summer. 

It’s pretty evident that he has his heart set on a move to a bigger club to challenge for silverware and reach greater heights and to that end, it is in the best interests of everyone that Spurs let him depart for free next summer or cash in on him in January to fund a move for a replacement.

Talking about a genuine replacement for a player of his calibre, Spurs have got the option to iron out a permanent deal for Lo Celso, who is widely regarded as one of the best all-round midfielders in the modern game.

However, they have the choice to look at other options as well, and here are 3 ideal replacements for the Dane:

1. Paulo Dybala 

The Argentinian stalwart has been forced to take a back seat at Juventus following the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo last summer and Spurs should look to go back in the market for the 25-year-old after failing to get a deal over the line in the summer. (h/t Express)

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The left-footed magician has the playmaking abilities and the natural skill set to fill in the void left by Eriksen, while his versatility to operate in multiple roles in the attacking third could be a massive boost to Pochettino’s team dynamics. 

Dybala is one of the best playmaking forwards in the world and Pochettino’s union with his compatriot could transform Spurs into strong title contenders for the upcoming season. 

2. Nicolo Zaniolo 

Spurs were repeatedly linked with a move for the 20-year-old Italian in the summer following his impressive breakthrough season at Roma last term. (h/t Daily Mail)

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The Lilywhites can certainly afford to look at the youngster as a smart long-term investment but unlike Dybala, he is not really a finished article and Pochettino would need to polish him to a considerable extent to transform him into a player capable of making an impact in the highly competitive atmosphere of the Premier League. 

Zaniolo has illustrated the versatility to play everywhere across the midfield, with his good turn of pace, natural finesse and ability to pick out key passes being some of his most impressive attributes. 

The Italian, though, is held in high regard at Roma due to his tremendous potential, and he certainly won’t come cheap. 

3. James Maddison

Perhaps the best like-to-like playmaking replacement for Eriksen, the 22-year-old Englishman has carved out a massive reputation for himself at Leicester City as one of the hottest talents across the nation. 

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He has been linked with Spurs (h/t Express) and it is a no-brainer for the club to go out all in their pursuit of the Leicester City star.

To Read More Spurs News, Click Here:- Latest Spurs News

The youngster not only has the work rate to shoulder the burden of being Spurs’ main man in the middle of the park but he also has the ability to change the whole complexion of the game with his eye for goals and assists. Going by his current form, Maddison would be a dream signing for Tottenham.

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